Saints cornerback suspended for substance abuse violation

Updated: October 7, 2003, 4:13 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Saints cornerback Keyuo Craver was suspended without pay for the team's next four games for violating the NFL Substance Abuse Policy.

Notice of the suspension came in a terse two-sentence release from the NFL. The league would not comment on the suspension. The NFL policy, however, calls for a four-week suspension only after a player has entered stage two of the program, indicating that there were multiple violations of the policy. Violations include repeated substance abuse or refusal to comply with treatment terms.

Although players are tested monthly for steroid use, they are tested only once a year for substance abuse.

Players may be put in the substance abuse program through positive urinalysis, determination of abuse by the team's medical director based on behavioral assessment, or self-referral.

Craver is eligible to return to the Saints' active roster on Monday, Nov. 3 following the team's Nov. 2 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Saints confirmed the suspension but would not provide any more information.

Craver's agent, Jeffery Griffen, did not return telephone calls.

Craver was a fourth-round draft pick last season out of Nebraska. He had an impressive training camp as a rookie and helped fill in for Dale Carter when Carter was suspended for substance abuse. In 2002, Craver played in 10 games, starting against Tampa Bay on Sept. 8 of that year.

This year coaches said Craver needed to be more consistent in his play. He had been used largely on special teams.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index